Part 5: Zen of Organization
When I started my desk organizing project a month ago what I really wanted was to just clear off the clutter that so easily accumulated. I’d use the mess as an excuse not to blog, or work on my book, or do projects that I’d promised people. And then I’d feel sorry for myself because my life is sooo busy and I’m sooo tired at night when I come home from the day job and I just couldn’t even begin to think about working on my own stuff because my desk was so messy.
As in any heroine’s journey, I met people along the way who helped – beginning with readers who offered advice. Angela Kantarellis of AK Organizing, my perfect friend Joanna and my professional organizer cousin Elizabeth McGrady all helped me to understand that each thing has a place based on frequency of use and accessibility.
Maybe it’s a coincidence or maybe it’s part of a bigger whole of which I am not yet aware, but I also started meditating regularly in the last month. That helps me be less scattered and more focused, and lo, my desk has been clean every day. I’ve kept to a process that helps me just concentrate on doing one thing at a time, and doing it well, whether it’s something as simple as filing materials for a story I’m working on, or monumental, like organizing paperwork for our adoption.
I have spent the last 15 years doing yoga, where the teaching is to be mindful and pay attention to what you are doing, and observe yourself doing it. This leads to clarity. But somehow it took a desk organization project to really make it sink in.
My mindfulness around my work area has had happy halo effects for the kitchen and my clothes (I have a little bit of OCD and change my mind about my outfit at least once every morning). I also gutted and reorganized our linen and tool closet. Our house has no major mess drama anymore. Except the shoe closet. But that is another story for another time.